- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2015

State Department officials said Friday that they will turn over to House investigators another batch of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails related to Benghazi that were discovered after a more thorough review.

The Obama administration previously claimed that it had turned over all of Mrs. Clinton’s email directly related to Benghazi.

Mrs. Clinton used a private email account and private email server for all official correspondence while in office, shielding the records from review for more than two years after she left office.

A senior State Department official said about 925 emails of discussions that relate or refer to Libya would be delivered to the committee. The documents were discovered during a second review of the roughly 35,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton turned over to the department earlier this year.

The State Department undertook another review of the email to ensure all Benghazi-related material was in the hands of the committee before the hearing next month, the official said.

“The State Department, which has failed to comply with multiple Benghazi committee requests and failed to act in good faith, is now indicating it intends to foster a more cooperative relationship with the committee,” said Jamal D. Ware, a spokesman for the House Select Committee on Benghazi. “It’s curious the department is suddenly able to be more productive after recent staff changes involving those responsible for document production.”

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He said the committee had not received the latest emails as of Friday afternoon.

“If indeed this is a sign the stonewalling and political protection effort that was previously being run by the department is diminishing, the committee welcomes it. The proof will be in the production,” Mr. Ware said.

Mrs. Clinton, who is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, is scheduled to testify before the committee next month.

On Sunday, Mrs. Clinton again defended her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and compared the multiple investigations to Republican-led probes into her husband’s administration more than two decades ago.

“It is like a drip, drip, drip. And that’s why I said, there’s only so much that I can control,” she said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I can’t predict to you what the Republicans will come up with, what kind of, you know, charges or claims they might make.”

Mrs. Clinton likened the inquiries into her correspondence to controversies such as the Whitewater land deal that trailed her husband’s campaign and much of his administration. She said voters in New York elected her to the Senate despite years of political questions.

“During the ‘90s, I was subjected to the same kind of barrage. And it was, it seemed to be at the time, endless,” she said. “When I ran for the Senate, people said, ‘Hey, we are more concerned about what you’re going to do for us.’ And I trust the voters to make that decision this time around too.”

The historical comparison marks a new line of defense for Mrs. Clinton, whose poll numbers have fallen amid lingering questions about her email usage.

Mrs. Clinton’s unusual email setup as secretary of state came to light only after the Benghazi committee pressed the State Department to produce the email, prompting Mrs. Clinton to turn over her email to the department more than two years after she left office.

The committee is investigating the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“The documents provided today do not alter the fundamental facts known about the Benghazi attacks,” said the senior State Department official, who asked not to be identified.

The official described the discovery of the email this way:

“Following our second review of former Secretary Clinton’s emails in recent weeks, the department is producing a small number of emails relating to Benghazi including a few that were missed in the initial hand review done in paper form early this year as well as some that were substantially personal in nature but reference Benghazi (as were previously identified to the committee in an April letter). The review by department employees to produce the 296 documents provided to the committee in February was done in paper form, by hand and without the benefit of search functions. The recent review of those emails was done electronically as those emails have since been scanned into the department’s systems.”

Though Mrs. Clinton insists that she did nothing wrong, questions about her email as secretary of state have dogged her presidential campaign, undermined voters’ confidence in her honesty and led to an FBI investigation into her handling of classified material that conceivably could lead to criminal charges.

As the latest Benghazi email surfaced, the Pentagon discovered another string of Mrs. Clinton’s email from her time in office that she failed to disclose when she claimed to have turned over all her work-related email earlier this year.

The email chain between Mrs. Clinton and retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, who at the time was commander of U.S. Central Command, were exchanged in January and February 2009, from before Mrs. Clinton took office until about a month into her tenure at the State Department.

The time frame of the email chain coincided with a “gap” in Mrs. Clinton’s email records that the State Department previously identified. The department did not have any email from Mrs. Clinton until March 18, 2009, nearly three months after she took office.

At the beginning of her time as secretary, Mrs. Clinton said, she continued using a business account she had during her time as a senator.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the email between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Petraeus was turned over to the department’s independent inspector general to be included in an investigation of the email.

The email chain did not relate to Benghazi but focused on staffing issues and personal matters, according to a State Department official familiar with them.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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